60% of coal will be withdrawn from the market within 8 years, will pumped hydro storage be the ultimate energy storage solution in Australia?

As Australia’s energy system gradually shifts from fossil fuels to renewable energy, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull believes that the construction of pumped hydropower storage should be expanded, which can effectively stabilize power supply and reduce fluctuations in the energy market. “The Ultimate Long Term Energy Storage Solution”.

The Australian Energy Market Dispatch Center (AEMO) predicts that if Australia’s energy is to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, at least 45GW/620GWh of energy storage is required, and Turnboll believes that the pumped storage plan is the ideal solution, including the $4.6 billion 4.1GW Snowy 2.0 Pumped Storage Program.

Turnball believes that the energy transition requires not only a lot of green electricity to replace coal, but also more power to meet the needs of transportation, fossil fuel-dependent heating, and green hydrogen; on the other hand, it also requires more energy storage systems, including An energy storage system that can store more than 8 hours of electricity and is more expensive.

After all, in the future, energy storage systems will mainly be used to fill the vacancies of the retirement of old coal-fired units. AEMO modelling shows that of the coal-fired units with a total capacity of 23GW in Australia, about 14GW will be withdrawn from the market in 2030.

According to the 2021 Draft Integrated System Plan (ISP), AEMO emphasized that 60% of the Australian system will withdraw from the Australian market in the next eight years. It’s just that when the energy market is gradually replaced by intermittent renewable energy, it is bound to invest heavily in energy storage systems, dispatchable power generation must reach 45GW/620 GWh, and put into utility-scale batteries, hydropower and other forms of energy storage.

Turnball said that Australia needs more energy storage systems, and AEMO suggested that for grid security and stability, at least another 45GW of energy storage must be added. These energy storage systems must also be distributed near the transmission system, and repeatable use of mode. He also added that although pumped hydro is not as easy to replicate as battery storage systems, about 95% of the world’s energy storage comes from pumped hydro.

The Snowy 2.0 pumped-storage project currently underway in Australia, which involves connecting the Tantangara and Talbingo dams through a 27-kilometre tunnel, will provide 2GW of dispatch capacity and 350GWh of large-scale energy storage, enough for the equivalent of 500,000 electricity during peak demand periods. households provide electricity for more than a week. Snowy 2.0 is the ultimate long-term storage asset, capable of generating 2,000 megawatts of electricity in seven and a half days without re-pumping water, and is currently expected to generate its first electricity in 2025, said Turnball.

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